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Need I say Moores

Spelling it out

Airlines earned an average of $6.02 per passenger in 2014; do the passengers know this?

Running an airline is a thin margin business and even thinner, depending on where the airline is based. In 2015, European airlines are only expected to make a 1.8% margin, or $4.27 per passenger. And those are the lucky ones. Some airlines pay far more to fly you than you ever pay them.

Flying is cheaper than ever before and it’s the consumer who benefits. Over the last 10 years, airlines have doubled their network and halved the cost of air travel. But, rather than being celebrated for making life better, airlines are seen as the enemy. Everything that used to be free, now has a fee.

Customers’ perception is their reality, but changing perceptions is tough, especially when expensive prime-time TV adverts show expensive aircraft with expensive airline cabins, occupied by expensive celebrities.

“Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception, you can change your emotion,” Edward de Bono said.

In 2015, average air fares excluding taxes and surcharges will fall by another 5.1%. It’s the small print – about excluding and charges – that is important here. Passengers don’t see the taxes and charges; they see how much they have to pay.

So maybe our industry can take a lesson from my electricity supplier. A couple of days ago, my bill arrived in the post and landed on my desk. On the back of the envelope (shown below) was a message.


“It’s not just spent on buying energy. Imagine you got a bill for £100 plus VAT…where does £100 go?” it said, followed by a simple breakdown of where my money is going.

If the energy companies can change their image, airline can too.

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